Design Recipes: Affordable ways to add color
It’s no secret that painting is one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s tool box. Simply painting a room is not only a quick and easy refresher, but also an affordable way to add a burst of color. Whether you are looking to add a pick-me-up to a tired space, wanting a change or looking for an affordable design tip, painting tops my list of affordable ways to add color to any space.
Tell a story with color: Whether you choose to use a fully saturated color, its shade (achieved by adding black), tint (achieved by adding white) or tone (by adding gray), you can make a powerful design statement simply by your use of color.
A lesson in color: The color wheel is a great place to start when looking for either interior design inspiration or guidance as far as pairing particular colors together. As a general rule, colors that are adjacent or opposite of each other on the color wheel work best. Feel free to not only mix and match any colors, but don’t forget that you can also layer your color by mixing into your color designer, tints, tones or shade of your primary color.
Black and white: Black and white are two of the most popular colors when it comes to clothing apparel, and the same holds true for home furnishings. Black and white are often treated as throwaway colors, but I believe as a design technique they can simply make a space.
I call black and white “foundation” colors because you can pair them with nearly any contrasting accent color and create something truly special.
Black in interior design is almost like the little black dress associated with fashion — quick, easy and superbly designed. I also find black and white to be both elegant colors that add a sense of richness to a space. In designing, I often pair black and white with gray.
Tone on tone: Tone on tone is a wonderful way to design a monochromatic color scheme. Tone on tone involves pairing similar or different shades, tones and tints of the same color in order to achieve a harmonious color scheme. This technique can be done successfully with any color, including white. I am sure we have all been amazed by how many different shades of white are on the market!
Accent walls: When looking to design with color, creating an accent wall is a wonderful use of color. Accent walls not only add interest to a space, but it is also a creative way to add color and paint to a room without it feeling overwhelmed by color.
In making a statement with color, I believe you should use bold, rich colors that allow the room to feel warm and cheery, but not overwhelmed. When deciding what color or colors to paint your interior walls, allow yourself to be inspired by the objects you love around you such as nature, fashion, music and personal influences. I believe color should be seen and not heard, meaning it should set the tone of the entire space, but it should not be overwhelming or distracting.
My design recipe for affordable ways to add color:
When it comes to color, have fun with it, embrace it! And remember accent walls, as well as colors like brown, black and white, can often make your strongest design statement.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at email@example.com or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.